Workshop: The fragmentation of legal theory as an epistemic community

Péter Cserne discusses questions like the following with international colleagues in this brainstorming workshop:

How is the global epistemic community of legal philosophers structured or patterned? How and why is the epistemic community of legal theorists unified/divided? What are the lines of division that generate exclusion/inclusion, centre/periphery? And how has this changed over time?

Those who consider themselves members of the community of legal theorists all have intuitions and anecdotes about these issues. Yet the topic also raises legitimate research questions: to assess them systematically requires both conceptual and empirical work, pursuing both qualitative and quantitative methods as well as interdisciplinary collaboration.

The insights that such research is expected to produce go beyond the descriptive sociology of a profession. Indeed, it may prove provocative and ferment developments towards more inclusivity in legal theory, or even “a small first step towards de‐parochializing Western Jurisprudence” (Twining and Sugarman 2020: 219).

The goal of this workshop is, however, more preliminary “brainstorming”: to explore the potential and the challenges of a collaborative research project about the culture and organisation of legal theory as an epistemic community.


  • Prof. Dr. Anne van Aaken, Universität Hamburg
  • Dr. Piotr Bystranowski, Jagellonian University Kraków
  • Prof. Mátyás Bódig, University of Aberdeen
  • Dr. Péter Cserne, University of Aberdeen
  • Dr. Mateusz Grochowski, LL.M. (Yale), Max Planck Institute for comparative and international private law Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr.  Hanjo Hamann, EBS University Wiesbaden
  • Prof. Dr. Lorenz Kähler, Universität Bremen
  • Prof. David Nelken, King’s College London
  • Dr. Jorge E Núñez, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Dietmar von der Pfordten, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • Prof. Sanne Taekema, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Those interested in participating in the discussion can register by email by 5/18 at
We kindly ask for a short indication why you are interested in this topic and whether you would participate in person or online.